Getting ready to release on Friday August 5th is Bazodee – a new style Bollywood musical with a distinctly Caribbean island flavor. Set on the vivid, colorful islands of Trinidad & Tobago and pulsing with the sensuous dance rhythms of soca music, the film is at heart a love story. It tells the tale of Anita Ponchouri (Natale Perera), the dutiful Indian daughter of a deep-in-debt businessman who is about to marry a wealthy Londoner (Staz Nair). A chance encounter with local Trinidadian singer, Lee de Leon (Soca music star Machel Montano) sets things askew. In search of a muse, de Leon agrees to perform at the engagement party. Unable to deny their mutual attraction, and with the excitement of Carnival approaching, Anita must now choose between the answer to her family’s financial prayers and the possibility of real love.
Adding to this intriguing and cool concept and story is that the film features legendary actor Kabir Bedi. The actor plays Anita’s father, which he tells us is a very different kind of role for him. Mr. Bedi sat down to discuss his latest movie role in Bazodee in this exclusive new interview.
Talking about his character Ram Panchouri in Bazodee and his storyline, the actor said, “Basically Ram is a guy who is an NRI like a lot of people, and he is living in the West Indies and his daughter is getting married to the son of an equally nice industrial family from England that is very well-to-do. But the truth is that I am deeply in debt so when my daughter decides to do things I wouldn’t want her to it really complicates life a lot. So it’s really the story of a man fighting for survival but yet dealing with his daughter’s heart going in a different way.”
So how was this character different from many of the other characters he has played in his extensive and incredible career? “It’s a lot different! It’s a lighter side of me, it’s a far more playful side of me. I mean I’ve played an Asian pirate, and in the James Bond film Octopussy I fought Roger Moore throughout the film, I’ve played Shah Jahan on stage and on screen, so those are serious characters. This is a much more pop role. Interestingly different!”
Talking about filming in Trinidad & Tobago, Mr. Bedi said, “I just loved the feeling of Trinidad & Tobago and the warmth of the people. There’s also the spectacular Maracas Beach out there where you have big shark sandwiches which are just incredible! And there is such a great music tradition there too so it’s a lovely place to be and to film and to meet people and get to know another country. It’s a country worth knowing! And Tobago reminds me of Goa from 30 or 40 years ago, really peaceful and beautiful beaches. Pigeon Point Beach was extremely beautiful to see there too.”
He also revealed some of his favorite places in the U.S to visit. “I stayed in Los Angeles for 15 years in the 1970s and 80s and I certainly have a deep and abiding love for L.A. It was a wonderful place for me because when I did the series The Bold and the Beautiful, I got to know the cast and got to know all the subcultures there and the fans that surround that. You have the sea, you have the mountains, wide roads for driving, smooth cars to drive, it’s a creative community, I had an enormously productive time in L.A. And of course San Francisco too. I adore San Francisco, so much beauty. Boston is where my sister is and I love going to the Northeast. New York I enjoy too. Houston, Orlando, Miami, a lot of special places for me there!”
Getting back to Bazodee, it certainly is a different style of a Bollywood musical so what does he think are some of the themes that those in the Indian diaspora would be able to relate to? “It’s our story! It’s a story of people like us. And therefore if you want your stories to be told you must see and support them and go out and see them. That’s part of the process. I think it’s a film people will enjoy in the diaspora because it’s about them.”
“It’s a film of fun,” Mr. Bedi says. Adding, “It’s Calypso, it’s Soca music, it’s the glory of the West Indies setting and of course Machel Montano’s incredible music that takes it to another level. It’s a fun film to see for the family.”
Get ready to be Bazodee!
Be sure to also check out our interview with Bazodee star Natalie Perera, http://bollyspice.com/natalie-perera-bazodee-extraordinary-unique/